The Hart football team is in a bit of a rebuilding mode. The team missed the playoffs for the first time in coach Mike Herrington’s career in 2010. The Indians won only one Foothill League game, against Golden Valley, which is looking for its first league win in school history.
The 2010 season was a forgettable one for the proud program at Hart.
Herrington and Hart can give their fans a boost on opening night against a tough Tesoro team from Rancho Santa Margarita at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Friday.
Tesoro comes from the South Coast League with Mission Viejo and San Clemente. The Titans finished in third place in league and advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Pac 5 Division playoffs last year.
But Hart will need a big game from sophomore quarterback Connor Wingenroth. He is getting the start against Tesoro because starter Cory Mayes is recovering from mononucleosis and missed a good chunk of summer practices.
“He just got cleared yesterday (Tuesday) and he hasn’t got to practice much,” Herrington said. “We’re going with the back-up Connor Wingenroth. We have confidence in Connor.”
Aside from Mayes, Herrington said the rest of his players are healthy and ready to go.
“We’re pretty healthy right now, some bumps and bruises, nothing serious,” Herrington said. “We’re looking to be pretty strong the first game.”
Tesoro has an experienced team that includes junior running back Nate Tago who led the team in rushing and touchdowns last season as a sophomore. He rushed for 419 yards and eight touchdowns and gained 4.8 yards per carry.
“They’re a big, physical team,” Herrington said. “They have a lot of returning starters from last year. It’s going to be a big challenge for us.”
Canoga Park at Jefferson, tonight (7 p.m.) -- Canoga Park opens on the road against Jefferson. Canoga Park’s Randy Uzoma, who is being touted as the fastest football player in the San Fernando Valley, will have his first chance to shine against Jefferson. Jefferson was 9-2 and lost in the first round of the City Section Division II playoffs to Franklin in 2010. Canoga Park went 5-5 and did not make the playoffs last season.
Pasadena vs No. 5 Alemany at Alemany, Friday (7 p.m.) -- It looks like Alemany might be easing into the 2011 football season. After a undefeated run through the Serra League and a run to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Pac 5 Division playoffs in 2010, Alemany opens at home against a Pasedena team that went 4-6 and finished in fifth place in the eight-team Pacific League last year.
No. 11 Crespi vs. Dominguez, Friday (7 p.m.) -- Crespi has a tough opener, on the road against Dominguez. The two teams met in the season opener last season and Dominguez won, 14-11.
Palos Verdes vs. Moorpark, Friday (7 p.m.) -- Moorpark’s preseason consists of one game and Palos Verdes will be a good test. Palos Verdes went 10-2 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Northern Division playoffs in 2010.
Serrano vs. Paraclete at Antelope Valley College, Friday (7 p.m.) -- Paraclete won the CIF Southern Section East Valley Division championship and opens against a Serrano team that made it to the semifinals of the Southern Section Eastern Division playoffs.
Bellevue vs No. 8 Oaks Christian at Mission Viejo High School, Saturday (8:30 p.m.) -- Oaks Christian will playing in prime time on Prime Ticket to open the season. Bellevue is the reigning Washington 3A state champions and the top-ranked team in Washington.
Del Oro vs. No. 14 Westlake at Del Oro High School, Saturday (8 p.m.) -- Westlake starts the high school football season with a long road trip to Northern California. Del Oro won the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship in 2010.
Follow Tim Haddock on Twitter @thaddock.